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Monrovia Council: Give City Manager a Raise? Two New Taxes


At its Tuesday, Dec. 19 meeting (agenda: https://goo.gl/H2gA76) the Monrovia City Council will consider ...

~ Giving City Manager Oliver Chi a 5 percent raise, to $18,363.51 per month. The staff report says that would still put him below the pay of other local cities. https://goo.gl/J2qqLb

~ Holding a special election on June 5 to vote on a hotel bed tax to help pay for unfunded retirement liability. https://goo.gl/ghE7RA

~ Creating districts where new housing is likely to be built, and levy an additional tax on new housing built in those areas. Again, to help help pay for unfunded retirement costs. https://goo.gl/VpV8oQ


- Brad Haugaard

Dinner at Mikomi Sushi




Dinner at Mikomi Sushi on the east side of Myrtle just south of the theater. Got the Spicy Chicken entree ($14), which comes with miso soup, salad and tempura, and a beer for $7.95.  Really quite good food! And a lot; had to take some home.

- Brad Haugaard 

Navy Commander Surprises His Children at Monrovia Schools


A touching story of Navy Commander Jeffrey Mitchel who arrived home to Monrovia early and surprises his children in their schools. https://goo.gl/ZjNwVJ

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: Serial Shoplifter; Truck With Keys Stolen; Auto Thief Will Return Car 'When He's Ready'; Etc.


[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for December 11-13. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 441 service events, resulting in 74 investigations.

Vehicle Tampering
December 11 at 10:04 p.m., an incident of vehicle tampering was reported in the 800 block of W. Olive. The victim stated that someone entered his unlocked vehicle and went through it, but it appeared nothing was taken. The investigation is continuing.

Shoplifting
December 11 at 2:10 p.m., the manager of a business in the 400 block of W. Huntington called police to report a shoplifter. A male suspect entered a business and filled up a bag with items. He then exited the store with the merchandise and the manager ran after him. The business reported that the same suspect has stolen items before from them. The suspect dropped the stolen items and fled the scene. The store desires prosecution. An area check was conducted, but the suspect was not found. The investigation is continuing.

Vehicle Burglary
December 11 at 8:13 p.m., a vehicle burglary was reported in the 900 block of Monterey. The victim parked her vehicle at the location at 2:00 p.m. and returned at 8:00 p.m. The passenger window had been shattered and the vehicle was ransacked. It appears that nothing was taken from the vehicle. The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto
December 12 at 8:17 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 600 block of E. Colorado. The victim parked his vehicle on the street and went inside for the evening. The next morning, his girlfriend looked out the window and saw the truck being driven away from the location. She told the victim, who then realized he had left his keys in the vehicle. The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto
December 12 at 9:25 a.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 200 block of W. Colorado. The vehicle was parked at the victim’s residence. The following day it was not there and a family member called the victim to tell her that a male subject they all knew was driving the vehicle. The family member told the male subject he needed to return the car, but the subject replied that he would return it when he was ready. The vehicle was entered as stolen and the male subject entered as the suspect. The investigation is continuing.

Hit & Run Traffic Collision
December 12 at 11:04 a.m., a hit and run traffic collision was reported in the 500 block of W. Palm Avenue. The suspect driver struck two vehicles on Palm and fled the area. A witness reported that the suspect vehicle is a green, box-type Scion. The vehicle was last seen traveling east on Foothill from the area. Officers arrived and checked the area, but were unable to locate the vehicle. The investigation is continuing.

Sign Up for Home Security Rebate; Congrats to Fire Department; New Bed Tax; Etc.


From City Manager Oliver Chi's his weekly update ...

~ Monrovia's Home Security Rebate Program has been approved and the city will begin accepting applications in January. The program will rebate you up to $250 when you install a home security system. If you are interested send an email to securityrebate@ci.monrovia.ca.us. You'll be notified when the City begins to accept applications.

~ Congratulated the fire department and other personnel who jumped on the Norumbega fire and doused it so quickly. Comment: Yes! Much appreciated.

~ Just as other fire agencies helped Monrovia, Monrovia has also been sending firefighting support for the fires in the San Diego and Santa Barbara areas.

~ In case of future evacuation orders, "the City will always utilize law enforcement personnel to start knocking on doors to personally notify residents of the need to evacuate."

~ Monrovia's RED Program is designed to help elderly and disabled citizens who may not be able to help themselves in critical and life-threatening situations, such as evacuations. To sign up for the program, contact the Monrovia Fire Department at 256-8181, or visit Fire Station 101 (141 East Lemon Avenue).

~ As part of Monrovia's response to its huge unfunded retirement problem the city wants to raise the bed tax on hotels from 10 to 12 percent. It will have to go on the ballot of a special election in June 2018. Chi said "Staff has spoken with the DoubleTree, Courtyard Marriott, and the developer of the proposed Marriott TownePlace Suite hotel about the proposed 2% increase" and they're okay with it.

~ Horse-drawn carriage rides for $5 on Thursdays and Sundays this month in Old Town. Thursdays, Dec. 14 and 21, from 5-8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, from 3-6 p.m.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia High Basketball 'Thriller' Victory; Christmas Parade on Video


~ The Monrovia High boys basketball team beat Bellflower 97-93 in a double-overtime thriller. https://goo.gl/BehGwr

~ Here's the Monrovia Christmas Parade on video, if you missed it in person: https://goo.gl/Mjy4zq

- Brad Haugaard

Unity Center Food Distribution Day on Dec. 16


Monrovia's Foothill Unity Center will hold a food distribution day for families with children on Saturday, Dec. 16, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Ayres Hall, at the LA County Arboretum in Arcadia. Packing Day will be Friday, Dec. 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Each family will take home a holiday food box with a meat and the makings for a traditional dinner. Boxes are packed to family size. Families with children will also take home bags of unwrapped gifts specifically requested by their kids through the Center’s Adopt an Angel program. The bags are opaque, so families can wrap and give them as part of their own holiday traditions.

More than 400 youth and adult volunteers will work together to pack nearly 1,000 holiday food boxes and organize the gift bags Friday in preparation for the distribution day on Saturday, staffed by more than 150 volunteers.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Chamber of Commerce Award Winners


Monrovia Chamber of Commerce award winners:

~ Stephen Bray will receive the Iris Award, equivalent to Citizen of the Year.

~ The 2017 Monroe Award honoree, for business person of the year, will go to Paul Kalemkiarian.

~ Penny Arroyo, of Volunteer Center of San Gabriel Valley, has been selected as the recipient of the
Service to the Chamber Award.

~ The Military Service & Stewardship Award will be presented to Gene Glasco.

Source: https://goo.gl/cs9LPk

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Police: First He's In an Accident, Then His Car is Stolen; Etc.


[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for December 7-10. - Brad Haugaard]

Following are the weekend’s highlighted issues and events.

Warrant / Possession of Personal Identifying Information / Possession of Access Card – Suspect Arrested
December 7 at 10:13 a.m., officers responded to a business parking lot in the 600 block of W. Huntington regarding a male subject walking around and yelling, causing a disturbance. Officers contacted the subject and a computer check revealed he had an outstanding warrant; he was arrested. An inventory of his property revealed he was in possession of someone else's driver's license and debit card. Further investigation revealed the two items were reported stolen from a vehicle in another city. The victim did not know the subject and did not give him permission to be in possession of his license or debit card. The suspect was additionally charged with possessing another person’s identifying information and for possession of an access card without cardholder's consent.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
December 7 at 9:28 p.m., an officer stopped a vehicle for several vehicle code violations. The driver was found to be too impaired to drive a motor vehicle safely and was arrested for DUI. Due to driver’s high level of intoxication, the Monrovia Fire Department paramedics were summoned. The driver was taken to a hospital for medical treatment.

Grand Theft Auto
December 7 at 10:01 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the area of Myrtle and Central. The victim called police and reported that he had been in an accident on the freeway and he exited at Myrtle. He parked his car near Myrtle and Central and then went to call his daughter. When he returned to the vehicle, it was gone. The investigation is continuing.

Domestic Battery – Suspect Arrested
December 8 at 2:29 a.m., officers were dispatched on the report of a family disturbance at a residence in the 500 block of E. Olive. After interviewing both parties, the husband was arrested for battery and taken into custody.

Theft From a Vehicle
December 8 at 12:00 noon, a theft from a vehicle was reported in the 200 block of W. Lemon. An unknown suspect entered the victim's unlocked vehicle and stole his wallet from the center console. His wallet contained various debit and credit cards. One of the cards had already been used at an unknown location. The investigation is continuing.

Shoplifting – Suspect Arrested
December 8 at 3:58 p.m., a female subject was detained for shoplifting at a business in the 500 block of W. Huntington. She entered the location, grabbed a handbag and exited the store without paying. The suspect did not have any identification or form of payment on her. She was arrested and taken into custody. The suspect was also found to have an outstanding warrant. She was later released with a citation to appear in court on the charges.

Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
December 8 at 8:27 p.m., a disturbing subject was reported at a business in the 300 block of W. Huntington. Officers arrived and contacted the subject, who showed signs of drug influence. A search of his person revealed he had a methamphetamine pipe in his possession. After investigation, the subject was arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Shoplifting / Possession of a Controlled Substance / Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Suspect Arrested
December 8 at 8:40 p.m., officers responded to the report of a shoplifting in progress at a business in the 500 block of W. Huntington. As officers arrived, the loss prevention officer was detaining a male adult for shoplifting. A search of the suspect revealed methamphetamine and a methamphetamine pipe. The suspect was arrested for shoplifting, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Driving Under the Influence – Suspect Arrested
December 9 at 2:02 a.m., an officer stopped a vehicle for vehicle code violations in the area of Mountain and Royal Oaks. The investigation revealed the driver was too impaired to drive a motor vehicle safely and the suspect was arrested for driving under the influence. The vehicle was stored.

Warrants / Possession of a Controlled Substance – Suspect Arrested
December 9 at 4:18 a.m., an officer observed a suspicious subject in a vehicle at a closed business. He contacted the subject and a computer check revealed he had two warrants for his arrest. During a search of the subject, he was found to be in possession of methamphetamine. The subject was arrested.

Grand Theft
December 9 at 10:19 a.m., a grand theft was reported at a business in the 100 block of W. Chestnut. Unknown suspects cut the lock to the gate and took a compressor from the rear of the business. The investigation is continuing.

Theft
December 10 at 11:29 a.m., a theft was reported at a business in the 600 block of W. Huntington. The victim realized her wallet had been taken from her purse while she was at the business the day prior. When she contacted the bank to cancel her accounts, she was informed of two fraudulent transactions made to her account. The investigation is continuing.

Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance / Warrant – Suspect Arrested
December 10 at 7:43 p.m., an officer on patrol saw a subject trying to jump start a vehicle parked in a no-parking zone. The officer contacted the subject and noticed the subject appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance. A computer check of the subject revealed he had a warrant for his arrest. He was arrested and held for a sobering period. He was later released on a citation to appear in court on the charges.

Grand Theft Auto
December 10 at 8:24 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from a business parking lot in the 500 block of W. Huntington. The victim had been shopping and was returning to her vehicle, when she saw her vehicle being driven away. The vehicle had been parked and secured at the location. Officers conducted an area check, but did not locate the vehicle. The investigation is continuing. 

Norumbega Fire Under Investigation


The city reports that, "The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, and fire investigators have already been deployed on scene to assess the situation."

Comment: Yeah, two fires in just a few days. Suspicious.

- Brad Haugaard

Burned Water Tank Above Monrovia Not Being Used


On the TV news last night you may have seen a large water tank on a hillside north of Monrovia engulfed in fire. Well, that won't cause any disruption because it is not in use. City Manager Oliver Chi reports that it was decommissioned in late 1950s.

- Brad Haugaard

Fire Above East Monrovia




A substantial fire is burning in the hillsides of east Monrovia. Possibly around Norumbega. This bad picture taken from Hillcrest near Magnolia. Apparently just above Grant Park.

Update: No homes damaged yet but it appears a water tank on the hillside may be damaged.

Update: People evacuating the area may go to the Community Center, just north of the library.

Update: You can take your dog to Wonder Dog Ranch if you are evacuating the area. 220 Taylor Street, east off Myrtle two blocks south of Duarte Road.

Update: Very low winds helping a lot. Firefighters seem to be getting a handle on it. Encouraging, except I'm wondering about the cost of fixing/replacing that water tank.

Update: Mayor Tom Adams reports that Foothill Gym has opened for anyone needing a place to go. On the east side of Myrtle just across from the Pavilions shopping center.

Update: From TV coverage it looks like firefighters have it pretty much under control. It looks as if it is now a job of keeping an eye on the embers to make sure there are no flare-ups.

- Brad Haugaard 

School Board to Consider Social Justice Camp; New Courses; Online Chat Software


At its December 13 meeting (agenda), the Monrovia School Board will consider ...

~ Approving a deal for 20 students to attend a free multi-day Building Bridges Camp by the California Conference for Equality and Justice during the 2017-18 school year. "After attending Builing Bridges Camps, students return to campus as leaders on anti-bias and social justice efforts." Details here.

~ Approving several new courses: Global Affairs, Avid (college prep), Math II and III, and Advanced Video Production.

~ Approving a contract with Fulcrum Management Solutions for its online software "that creates online conversations for meaningful engagement by parents, staff, and community members." Details here.

- Brad Haugaard

Lunch at Gem City Grill





Had lunch yesterday at Gem City Grill, on the north side of Olive just east of Myrtle. Got a Bacon Cheddar Ranch Sandwich for $7.95 and a beer for $5. Nothing trendy about this place. It’s an old style bar and grill with pool tables but the  sandwich (really a burger) was great. Patty was twice as thick compared to burger patties at most places. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Bake Sale Sunday to Benefit Young Musicians


The Monrovia Young Musicians Ensemble will hold a bake sale this Sunday, Dec. 10, from 3-5 p.m. at the Pavilions market. Live music and goodies to buy.

- Brad Haugaard

Firefighters Put Out Brush Fire in North Monrovia


Firefighters last night quikly put out a small brush fire in north Monrovia, in back yards near the entrance to Canyon Park.  Details here.

- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Holiday Parade





- Brad Haugaard 

Christmas Tree ... With Snow




The Monrovia Christmas tree was lit this evening by Mayor Tom Adams. A new addition was a couple of snow machines that started up as the tree went on. 

- Brad Haugaard 

Monrovia Police: Woman Accidentally Spends Fake $100 Bill; Cannon Shell Found in Car; Arrest In Auto Theft; Etc.


[Monrovia Police activities from the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Report for December 4-6. - Brad Haugaard]

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 425 service events, resulting in 59 investigations.

Counterfeit Bill
December 4 at 9:33 a.m., a female subject called police to report she had inadvertently used a fictitious $100 bill at a gas station in the 900 block of W. Foothill. She reported that she received the bill from a bank. An officer responded and confirmed the $100 bill was fictitious and the U.S. Secret Service was notified. The investigation is continuing.

Battery / Hit & Run Traffic Collision
December 4 at 10:47 a.m., a caller reported a disturbing subject at a gas station in the 900 block of W. Huntington. Officers arrived and learned the subject had punched a customer at the gas station and then while attempting to drive away, the subject collided into a vehicle. The suspect fled the scene. The investigation is continuing.

Artillery Round Found – Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad Notified
December 4 at 1:01 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of E. Pomona to assist a subject with retrieving property from his impounded vehicle. While the subject was getting his property, the tip of an artillery round was located in the trunk. The item belonged to the registered owner’s grandfather. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad was notified; they responded and took possession of the device.

Trespassing – Suspect Arrested
December 5 at 9:51 a.m., the manager of a business in the 300 block of W. Huntington called police to report a disturbing male subject at the location. The subject has a notrespassing order issued to him for the location. Officers arrived and detained the subject. The no-trespass authorization was posted on the front entry and exit doors, and the subject has been notified that he is not to be at the location. He was arrested for trespassing.

Stolen Vehicle
December 5 at 8:17 p.m., a vehicle was reported stolen from the 400 block of W. Huntington. A female subject parked her vehicle in the business parking lot and went into work. When she returned to her vehicle, she found it had been stolen. The vehicle is a 2004 Acura. The investigation is continuing.

Mail Tampering
December 6 at 11:26 a.m., a resident in the 300 block of Wildrose reported an incident of mail tampering. She was at her home when FedEx dropped off a package and she heard a knock at the door. When she opened the door, she saw a female, White subject, wearing jeans and a jean jacket, walking away with her package. She yelled at the female, who then dropped the package and fled in a brown, 4-door Honda, with a male suspect driving. The investigation is continuing.

Grand Theft Auto / Felon With a Gun / Warrant – Suspects Arrested
December 6 at 1:42 p.m., a parking control officer observed a suspicious black Honda Accord with no plates making two quick turns in what he thought was an attempt to get away from him. The vehicle parked in an alley in the 200 block of east Colorado. A computer check revealed the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Westminster. Patrol officers responded and the vehicle went mobile. As officers were attempting to stop the vehicle, the male, front passenger threw a handgun out the window. Once the vehicle was stopped, the three occupants were detained. The driver was arrested for grand theft auto, the front passenger was arrested for felon with a gun, and the rear passenger was arrested for a no-bail warrant. The investigation is continuing.

Shoplifting – Suspect Arrested
December 6 at 3:14 p.m., loss prevention at a business in the 1600 block of S. Mountain saw a subject in the store taking items and placing them in his clothing. Officers responded to the location and also observed the suspect placing items in his clothing. The suspect walked past the manned registers without stopping to pay for the items and was detained. The suspect was arrested and received a citation to appear in court on the charges. 

What Does Hayley Mills Have to Do With Restoring the Monrovia Train Station?


A really great article about the soon-to-be-completed restoration of the old Monrovia train station. Did you know that one of the best sources of historical images for the restorers came, oddly, from the 1966 comedy, "The Trouble with Angels," starring Hayley Mills and Rosalind Russell?   https://goo.gl/rbWCDj

- Brad Haugaard